Whiteford urges shoppers to break the bag habit

Eilidh Whiteford MP joins anti-litter campaigners at High Shore.
Eilidh Whiteford MP joins anti-litter campaigners at High Shore.

Member of Parliament for Banff and Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, joined environmental campaigners on a beach clean of High Shore in Macduff recently as a new Scottish Government scheme on reducing bag use came into effect.

From October 20, shoppers face a 5p minimum charge for use of a bag in a scheme that is designed to reduce use of bags and protect the environment.

Around 750 million bags are used in Scotland every year.

Dr Whiteford joined the ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ group as they launched a beach clean at High Shore, Macduff.

She told the Herald: “Carrier bags are a highly visible aspect of litter, and that has become clear in this beach clean.

“By reducing the amount being carelessly discarded we can cut litter and its impact on our environment and economy.

“A small charge should also encourage us all to stop and think about what we discard and what can be re-used.”

She continued “We have seen elsewhere that carrier bag charging has been effective in encouraging people to reuse bags.

“This charge is not a tax but will see retailers donating the proceeds to charity - this could be up to £5 million per year after retailers have covered their costs.

“Thousands of Scottish people already use bags for life and some retailers already charge. It is now time, however, for a national effort.”

The Surfers Against Sewage campaign weekend concluded with a clean-up of Banff Links.